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I slept through new years.
Still sick... But partying isn't exactly my thing. Neither is drinking.

My resolution this year is going to be: to balance myself


Spontaneously, I feel like writing. So here's a story.

In 2011, I was on the right track. On the way to being more centered--I was feeling good and I was accomplishing a lot (mentally and artistically). But then towards the end of the year, things got shitty... I put myself in a bad situation (the kind I didn't know exactly how to respond to)... and as a result things spiraled out of control.  
In a nutshell: I lost my sense of self.

January 2012? All the mental [and spiritual] progress I had made up until that point seemingly vanished. I felt like I didn't know myself anymore--I felt as though I had betrayed my self-confidence. Depression inevitably drowned me. My health suffered. I went from 120lb to 109lbs--which made everything worse. Ill body, ill mind...
I disconnected from everything.

Eventually the episode "A Friend in Deed" aired, which isn't my favorite episode. But Pinkie Pie's song? I'm not going to lie--it reduced to me absurd, childishly hysterical tears.
"It's true... Some days are dark and lonely. And maybe you feel sad--but Pinkie will be there to show you that it isn't that bad."
So I downloaded the song. Every time my mind started to slip into those self-depreciating thoughts of self-loathing, I'd listen to it. I'd listen to it to drown-out my mind. I'd listen to it so I could focus on drawing in the studio at school. I'd listen to it on the bus to school before my day started. I set it as my alarm in the morning.
Obsessive? Perhaps. Therapeutic? Absolutely.

Slowly... I started to realize that I needed to stop sinking... So I did my best to eat better. I used my schoolwork to distract me from myself. I forced myself to start changing my outlook, because it wasn't like someone was going to do it for me.
My second dose of cartoon therapy came with the season finale of Legend of Korra. When Avatar Aang pulled an Obi-Wan and said to Korra: "When we are at our lowest point, we are open to the greatest change." Which gave me a sort of "duh" moment and inspired some resolve. Summer was full of work--continuing to distract myself.
The Everfree Con helped to restore some confidence (again, I thank all the beautiful people who visited my table--you helped me more than you know).
I find it amusing how much cartoons have helped me through my haze. Ponies and Avatars...  I think it's because they [cartoons] are more symbolic (because of their simplicity) and therefore more accessible for my visually-oriented mind to identify with. Heh.  

At the end of summer I wanted to take advantage of the positive mood the Con had put me in... So I took mushrooms with the intent to overload my mind and to wash clean my tangled thoughts--and to halt/reduce my self-medicating habit of distracting myself from myself.
An intense cerebral experience, as always. [Some may see this as "irresponsible", and you are free to think that.] To me, mushrooms are a cerebral tool--medicine. Personally (and mushrooms are very much a personal experience), I prefer the thoughts rather than the visuals. The visuals are beautiful and fun to look at... but self-reflection and introspection? Far more interesting (and useful) to me.  
After a delirious few hours of being forced to pay attention to my own mind (with plenty of crying and cat snuggling)... I felt a lot better. Clear-headed... free. And better prepared to continue moving forward.

The remainder of 2012 was generally positive. I had some "relapses" of depression. Some new tangles. Sort of felt like "aftershocks" from the previous year's mess. But nothing extreme. I feel like I'm back on track though... to wherever it is that I am going. Which is the only place I want to be, really.


So that's why my resolution for this year is to balance myself--because that's my track.


And you know what? I'm feeling good about 2013. I hope you are too.  


Peace and happy new year.

-Cosmic
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:iconmadrigles:
madrigles Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013
Pinkie's song helped me a hell of a lot too.

I am glad I helped you a little! I visited your table at Everfree and bought some stuff. ^.^
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:iconchessie2003:
Chessie2003 Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013
Good luck in this new year, Cosmic!
Reply
:iconalluris:
Alluris Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
If you're serious about the 'shrooms, I can't say I condone. But Avatar and My Little Pony? Couldn't think of two better shows to self-medicate with. I, myself, am all too guilty of doing it. Those are like, the best cartoons to air in ten years.
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:icon1over0:
1over0 Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
If you ever need a boost, come here to DA. You have a lot of fans that will cheer you up. On top of that, you would be surprised at the number of backgrounds that your followers come from. We can help in a variety of ways if you are facing problems in life. Remember, "A man who does not use his neighbor's strength is not using his full strength."

Happy New year to you as well!
Reply
:iconthenadefox:
thenadefox Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I know those feels - I actually teared up a little reading this journal
I'm so glad you're in a positive feeling place to begin the new year! Let's hope 2013 is a little more gentle for us all. I am also hoping for a return to centered self.
Good luck for this new year :heart:
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:iconanzul:
anzul Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013  Student General Artist
thanks for sharing your experiences, always good to read stuff like this.

for me 2012 was... interesting, at least i got healthier, found new hobbies and a drive to create stuff, all i need to do this year is stop procastinating.
i think 2013 if anything, is gona be a bumpy ride.

and im curious about thee mushrooms, do they put your though process in overdrive or simply put it in a higher priority?
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:iconcosmicunicorn:
CosmicUnicorn Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013
Mushrooms (or any psychedelics) are really hard to describe... But I think "overdrive" might be a more accurate term.
...Mushrooms sort of remove your "brain filters".

Usually when you look at something, you generally only look at the "important" stuff, and your brain filters out the rest... Say you're in a room and there's a cup on the table right in front of you. You'll see the cup, but your brain will sort of "fuzz out" the rest of the things in the room (because your attention is on the cup). Your brain does this for your eyes, and your ears, your nose, and every other nerve in your body. It's the same idea when you get "used to" smells. The "important stuff" is what your attention notices.
In my experience (with a moderate dose of psilocybin mushrooms) when the "filters" are removed... you see, hear, smell, taste, and feel A LOT more. Like the volume has been turned up on all your nerves. You take in more visual information which causes colors to appear brighter, depth perception appears to increase, details are in everything... Instead of seeing just the cup, you see the entire room and everything that's in the room. It's sort of like those weird HD photos [link] Your entire body just feels... It reminds me of that feeling when you wake up in bed and you feel super cozy and content.
But those are just the effects on the senses...

Physical senses are a little "easier" to describe... Trying to describe how mushrooms affect your thoughts is a lot more difficult... Impossible really. A lot depends on your state of mind and your mood. Set and setting, as they say, is extremely important. If you go into the experience with an open mind the mushrooms will be "mind-expanding"--your perceptions of your world, your circumstances and your life are given new angles of perspective (and you may discover insight).
If you go into the experience with fear and a closed mind (or you are being irresponsible in how you are using the substance) the trip may turn out poorly and you will wind up creating problems (anxieties) for yourself.

But it's important to remember that not everyone is the same (because not everyone has the same brain chemistry) and not all mushrooms are the same. Some have more of "body high", while others are very visual. I could hardly see anything during my most intense trip... Reality kept sort of folding away into these strange, moving, geometric shapes ("overloaded" rather than "overdrive")... it was disconcerting.
The experiences are entirely unique... which is why it's so hard to describe. It's like trying to describe a dream--because it's something that happens entirely within your own mind, it's impossible to explain it accurately to someone else.


I encourage anyone who has even the slightest curiosity about psychedelics, to read and learn about them, as they are a fascinating subject. I researched mushrooms for at least a year before I tried them for the first time--which was in a safe place with someone I trusted (and had previous experiences with psychedelics).
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:iconanzul:
anzul Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Student General Artist
i though as much about the safe seting.

feeling so much at the same time... must be realy overwhelming (and effing scary the first time) not something im realy eager to do anytime soon.
the insigh part on the other hand sounds realy interesting... im guessing it takes a bit of trial and error to know what works "best" whit diferent people?

thanks for the advice, if i ever get the chance to do something like this, i`ll likely investigate and prepare a lot before even touching the stuff, better coward and safe than lacking a kidney lol :)
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:iconcosmicunicorn:
CosmicUnicorn Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013
It is overwhelming, and it can start to get scary if you allow it to. The more you fight it, the more your anxiety will build... Just take a deep breath, remind yourself that you're only tripping and that you're fine and allow it all to happen. Allow your anxiety to pass through you, surrender yourself to the experience.
Reply
:iconanzul:
anzul Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013  Student General Artist
it seem to be quite the "mindful" experience...
thanks for the advice :)
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:iconicyashford:
IcyAshford Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013
:hug:

Avatar: The Last Airbender taught me a lot of wisdom thanks to Uncle Iroh.
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:iconcosmicunicorn:
CosmicUnicorn Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013
Oh man... Iroh is the best.

Reply
:icontygrhd:
tygrHD Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013
Good luck with 2013, hope it's a great year for you.
Sorry for being a busybody, but I'm curious as to what the bad situation that put you into that mindset was?
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:iconjoehoofer:
JoeHoofer Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Good luck.
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:iconkeinzantezuken:
KeinZantezuken Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013
Fear not I slept thru it too.
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:iconmyminiatureequine:
MyMiniatureEquine Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
When I had mushrooms, I became a giant and went around smashing my head into bricks and stomping turtles.
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:iconcosmicunicorn:
CosmicUnicorn Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013
Sounds awesome. Though... why stomp turtles?
I haven't had any experiences like that... but I generally don't like to take a lot when I do them.

Mostly I just see math. Math everywhere. :omg:
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:iconmyminiatureequine:
MyMiniatureEquine Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:iconpinkieseestooplz: Not sure if trolling or just unaware...

That sounds awesome. I love math.
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:iconcosmicunicorn:
CosmicUnicorn Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013
Math as in fractals.
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:iconvincent-rogue:
Vincent-Rogue Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I hope the best for you in this year of 2013. Also, good luck with school and all.
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:iconk4nk4n:
K4nK4n Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2013
I hope 2013 brings you happier times.
Reply
:iconda-andi:
da-andi Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2013
Isnt that dangerous to take Mushrooms while be (a bit) prone for depressions? After all i know, such Drugs are like a Mood-Amplifier, that sounds not so suitable to fight a depressive mood to me. :o

On other news, i didnt like the season finale of Legend of Korra.
When they pulled out their Deus Ex Machina to fix everything back to normal... No bigger Message, like a War always takes his Sacrifice, or that you cant win a war and better prevent it or something alike... Well, i guess it was necessary to continue in the next Season.

Anyway, i wish you a happy new Year, with tons of Art, tons of Progress and a stabilized mood. :)
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:iconcosmicunicorn:
CosmicUnicorn Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013
That's why I took them at a time when I was feeling positive. I also had a small dose--a milder trip.
There is a greater risk if you have genetic predispositions for conditions like schizophrenia.

Mushrooms are unique... When used properly psilocybin (the psychedelic compound in "magic" mushrooms) acts as an anti-depressant.
They've actually been using mushrooms to treat cluster headaches and (more recently) depression.
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:iconjordanis:
Jordanis Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
2012 has kind of sucked in many ways, but I too have put myself on a track. I'm sorry I missed Everfree (I wanted to put a face to the art. You seem interesting, in the tiny snippets and windows of interaction), but my brother in law decided to be a jerk and get married that weekend. So I got to go to Yellowstone and Glacier instead, which is just /such/ a terrible burden.

My dad has always insisted that mescaline is the best of the type. He insists it's much 'cleaner' than LSD. I fear, sometimes, that my parents are more interesting than I am. :P
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:iconcosmicunicorn:
CosmicUnicorn Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013
Oh yes, a terrible burden indeed... :lol: I have yet to visit Yellowstone, so I'm jealous. I want to draw all the animals! Especially the buffalo. Buffalo are awesome.

I've not experienced mescaline... I'd like to though.
I've only tried LSD twice and in my experience, compared to mushrooms, it seems "easier" to control. With psilocybin it's more like, you're along for the ride.
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:iconjordanis:
Jordanis Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
PS: Boofalos, just for you. :D
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:iconjordanis:
Jordanis Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
The only time I tried mushrooms, I just got a little bit of color--like the flashes you get when you squeeze your eyes closed, but overlaid on normal sight. But hell, if you come far enough down I-5, I'll hit up my dad for his old cronies or something.

Yellowstone is really wonderful. I've been four times now, and I really want to start hitting it in some different seasons. I don't know how 'outdoorsy' you are, but there are a couple of the campgrounds that are small and not full of tourist trailers with generators/hookups, and they're awesome. I also recommend finding an overnight backpacking jaunt to go on--99.something% of visitors don't even make it more than 1/2 a mile from any road, so even on an easy hike you can get really isolated. If you go, make the effort to get up before dawn and drive out from wherever you're staying at random--you will see all the good wildlife that way. On the last trip, we watched a fox do the classic documentary pounce into tall grass early one morning, and watched a pair of coyotes stalk a sandhill crane, and heard a wolf howl go up within a quarter mile of us at the Petrified Tree. Wolf sightings are not as time-sensitive--they'll be out at random, and you pretty much just have to look for the big crowds studded with spotting scopes on the side of the road. There are people who take wolf-watching *very* seriously, and they're often really nice folks who will let you peek through their scopes and whatnot. We saw the pups of one pack playing with their babysitter yearlings this way. Also, protip: if you have a DSLR and like to do the photography thing, the camera shops in the gateway towns rent lenses. It is worth the price to rent the fancy glass, because a lot of the good shots end up being in very difficult light.

As far as the buffalo go, have someone else driving as you go from Fishing Bridge to Canyon. At some point, you will get stopped by Buffalo on the road, I guarantee it. I've got a pretty funny picture of two buffalo standing right in front of our car, staring at us, mouths flapping. Anyway, you'd be able to sketch safely from pretty close when you're stopped, and might get some good fast ones (or reference photos for later). They can be pretty funny animals, especially when they dust wallow. :D
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:iconarbitergirl:
ArbiterGirl Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
If it works for you, and you can do these things while keeping a safe, healthy environment for yourself and the people around you, then I personally don't see any trouble in anything someone does to try to make themselves happy and/or feel better.
Keeping an open mind to new possibilities is key.


You taught me a lot this year.
I've saved a lot of the comments you sent me in a text file, and at my low days, I'll read them and at least one of them will be what need to read that day.
You played a big part in helping me find emotional and mental stability after the terrible spring and summer I had this year.

I thank you so much for that.



I wish you the very best for 2013, and that the world gives back to you what you gave to me.


:heart:
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:iconcloneddragon:
cloneddragon Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow, i had no idea that you fell in to depression at the same time i did. I ran my mental, emotional, and physical self in to the ground by the end of 2011, went from 135 to 120lb, i started disconnecting from everything and was deeply depressed by the end. (also lost one of my cats on thanksgiving day) It too was school that got me started on the rise out of depression, along with a good dose of "wow people think i'm good?!" when i was offered two internships, both paid. (i never applied for anything)

I see better now why you decided to chat and help me threw my dark times, you yourself were in a similar situation. thank you for talking with me back then, and i wish you good luck on your future!


(btw, the second half of 2012 has been fantastic, and i'm looking forward to 2013)
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:icondavey-the-6th-moon:
Davey-the-6th-moon Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2013  Student Writer
As I always say: Balance is the key to everything! Good on ya for having such a great resolution!
All I have is to get fit because Stallone is awesome. ^_^
And in terms of Self Loathing issues, I feel ya on that regard. Which is why reading this has been great. Keep on fighting the good fight. ^_^
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:icondademonicartist:
DaDemonicArtist Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
simply bravo. good luck in this new year, though i doubt you'll need it. you seem to be doing a terrific job already
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:iconfox914:
fox914 Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2013
I'm glad you're doing better, Cosmic! I always love seeing art from you -- you inspire me (as well as, I'm sure, many others). I also agree with you on the fact that the arts (animation, other aesthetic stuff) can be really helpful in moving forward. This year I was really low at one point, and, after listening to a newly released album from one of my favorite bands, I felt a lot better. Cathartic experiences ftw XD
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:iconbluedingo5:
BlueDingo5 Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2013  Student Filmographer
Happy New Year cosmic, heres hoping 2013 is better for you :heart:
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:iconnamelessnuthyng:
NamelessNuthyng Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2013
I wish you luck on your path, and pray you don't lose your sense of self again.
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